CICIG - The International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala
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At the forum "Young and Committed", Commissioner Iván Velásquez called upon the youth to join forces in fighting impunity.

PRESS RELEASE 052

FOURTH YEAR OF ACTIVITIES

Guatemala, October 5, 2011. During the fourth year of activities, the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) saw a number of high-impact cases go to trial and, in the majority, convictions were handed down. CICIG has also continued to propose and support institutional strengthening actions, especially with its main counterparts, such as the Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP) and the National Civil Police (PNC). Furthermore, the Commission has followed up legal reform proposals it proposed or supported.

Between September 2010 and August 2011, CICIG received 201 complaints, and it currently has 62 open investigations. In 20 of the 62 investigations, the Commission is a complementary prosecutor. Although the majority of cases under investigation are concentrated at the Special Anti-impunity Prosecutor's Bureau (FECI) of the MP, CICIG also works together with other prosecutor's offices, including specialized bureaus against organized crime and money laundering or pro-human rights.

Among the cases where CICIG has achieved convictions are:

- Zacapa case: The fourteen accused, seven Guatemalans and seven Mexicans, including Daniel Pérez Rojas (alias "El Cachetes"), were sentenced to between 8 and 313 years in prison for crimes such as murder and criminal association.

- Víctor Rivera case: Eight accused were sentenced to prison sentences ranging from 5 to 46 years in prison on different charges, including murder and obstruction of justice.

- Musa case: Eight accused were sentenced to prison sentences of between 8 and 46 years on charges of murder and criminal association.

- Maskana case: Two high-ranking officials of the National Civil Police (PNC) were convicted, including Baltazar Gómez Barrios, former director of the police, who was sentenced to 5 years in prison for noncompliance of duties and extortion. José Aníbal Hernández Nova, the former advisor to the Ministry of the Interior, was also sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of money laundering and extortion.

- Extrajudicial killings committed by National Civil Police (PNC) officers: Two former members of the Special Division of the Criminal Investigations of the PNC, Juan Carlos Rojas Salguero and Mártir García, were sentenced to 25 years in prison for the forced disappearance of an alleged extortionist in October 2009.

Other paradigmatic cases have concluded the preparatory phase and are currently at the pre‑trial phase. Furthermore, the extension of the CICIG mandate has allowed additional investigations to be conducted into related cases.

As to strengthening institutions, in accordance with the 2011-2013 strategic plan, CICIG's actions will have an overriding focus on seven key elements: the creation of specialized prosecutor's offices within the MP, based on the model of Special Anti-impunity Prosecutor's Bureau (FECI); the creation of an International Relations Office at the MP; the strengthening of the Office of Victim and Witness Protection; the strengthening of the Analysis Section of the MP; the creation of a police force with criminal investigation expertise; the strengthening of the Special Investigation Methods Section, composed of staff of the MP and the PNC; and the creation of a Police Information Platform.

In the area of legal and institutional reform, between September 2010 and August 2011, none of the legislative proposals made by CICIG after 2009 were approved by the Congress of the Republic. Other bills supported by CICIG—such as the Law on Asset Forfeiture or the law regulating private security services—were finally approved. CICIG reiterates the need to prioritize the package of "anti-corruption" reforms to the Code of Criminal Procedure and the reforms to the Organic Law of the MP.

On December 1, 2010, CICIG published the report titled "Illegal Adoption Processes in Guatemala following the implementation of the Adoptions Law". The Commission also published reports on selection processes for the Attorney General of the Republic and judges of the Constitutional Court.

CHALLENGES AND CONCLUSIONS
With the support of CICIG, the MP has undergone an internal reform process, which has intensified after Attorney General of the Republic Claudia Paz y Paz took office in December 2010. So far in 2011, the MP has generated criminal prosecution and criminal investigation results in high-impact cases concerning serious human rights violations committed during the internal armed conflict. Results have also been obtained in cases of drug trafficking, electoral violence and other recent cases of social importance, demonstrating the improved coordination among the MP, the Ministry of the Interior and the PNC.

CICIG will continue to promote the investigation and trial of crimes attributable to illegal security forces and clandestine security organizations. In addition, it will continue to promote a genuinely independent and transparent Judiciary (OJ) as both an urgent and necessary part of overcoming impunity, strengthening rule of law and consolidating democracy.

While thanking the support for its work, CICIG encourages honest, brave judges to continue to administer justice independently and urges national counterparts to undertake a joint effort to triumph over the acts of corruption and impunity that take place in Guatemala.


CICIG Report: Year 4
Executive Summary of CICIG Report: Year 4
Commissioner Address

Prensa Libre editorial

See image gallery

Commissioner Francisco Javier Dall´Anese Ruiz
Claudia Paz y Paz, Attorney General of Guatemala
President Álvaro Colom Caballeros

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        About Guatemala
  The Republic of Guatemala, a mountainous country that lies in the Central American isthmus, has an estimated population of 13 million people.
  Guatemala won its independence in 1821, following almost three centuries of Spanish colonial rule.
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